41st meeting of the Standing Committee

41st Meeting of the Standing Committee
Kobuleti, Georgia, 26 April – 1 May 2010

DOC SC41-24

Agenda item 15

Draft National Report Format for COP11

Action requested: The Standing Committee is invited to review and approve the draft COP11 National Report Format for finalization by the Secretariat and to agree the timelines for its issuing to, and completion by, the Contracting Parties.

1.       At the 40th meeting of the Standing Committee, inDecision SC40-29, the SC agreed that:

i)       the COP11 National Report Form should be structured in line with the Goals and Strategies of the new 2009-2015 Ramsar Strategic Plan adopted at COP10 as Resolution X.1;
ii)      the indicators included in the COP11 NRF should speak to the Key Result Areas established by Resolution X.1 for each Strategy in the Plan;
iii)     an indicator or indicators concerning roll-out and uptake of the Changwon Declaration should be included;
iv)     for continuity, and to permit time-series analysis and report of implementation progress, COP11 NRF indicators should as far as possible be consistent with those in previous NRFs, particularly those of the COP10 NRF;
v)      the advice and experience of the STRP should be sought concerning the utility and any adjustments to, or additional need for, indicators in relation particularly to the Panel’s experience in using the COP10 NRF indicators in its analyses of effectiveness indicators; and
vi)     the advice of the CEPA Oversight Panel should likewise be sought concerning indicators for the CEPA Strategy of the Strategic Plan.

2.       Also in Decision SC40-29, the Standing Committee requested the Secretariat to prepare a draft National Report Form along these lines for consideration for adoption by SC41 in 2010, distribution to Parties one year prior to COP11, and compilation by the Parties and submission by six months prior to the COP. The SC indicated that one item should be dedicated to the Changwon Declaration.

3.       Accordingly, the Secretariat has prepared the attached draft COP11 National Report Format for consideration by the 41st meeting of the Standing Committee.

4.       In so doing, the Secretariat has received the advice of the STRP and its Thematic Work Area 3 concerning National Report indicators needed for use in analyses of the Convention’s indicators of effectiveness, and it has incorporated certain specific indicators to respond to this advice.

5.       The Secretariat is consulting the CEPA Oversight Panel concerning particularly CEPA-related indicators included under Strategy 4.1 of the 2009-2015 Strategic Plan, and these will be further considered by the Panel when it meets on 2 May 2010, immediately following the close of SC41.

6.       Following Contracting Parties’ experiences of filling-in the COP10 NRF and the Secretariat’s review of completed COP10 National Reports, a small number of such COP10 indicator questions have not been included in the draft COP11 NRF, notably where these have proved to be too ambiguous or difficult to understand clearly and/or do not speak to the new 2009-2012 Strategic Plan Strategies and their Key Result Areas.

7.       However, in order to ensure that there are indicators for relevant Key Result Areas (in line with sub-paragraph ii) of Decision SC40-29) it has been necessary to add further indicators or amend the wording of some COP10 NRF indicators to more directly reflect the language of a Key Result Area statement.

8.       Following the responses to a specific questionnaire concerning the uptake and use of the “Changwon Declaration” which was sent to Contracting Parties in 2009/2010 at the request of the Republic of Korea (see DOC SC41-22), a small number of “Changwon Declaration” indicators have been included under Strategy 1.5 of this draft COP11 NRF.

9.       The attached draft COP11 NRF contains 88 specific indicator questions – this is somewhat more than the 66 indicator questions contained in the COP10 Format, but remains significantly fewer than in the earlier formats.

10.     In relation to the need for the Standing Committee to undertake a mid-term review of  the 2009-2011 Strategic Plan and propose any recommendations for amendments to it, as is indicated in DOC SC41-20, two questions on these matters have been added to the general questions included in Section 2 of the draft COP11 NRF. In relation to this, during the preparation of this draft, the Secretariat noted that certain important aspects of Convention implementation, such as undertaking environmental impact assessments in relation to development proposals likely to affect wetlands and the establishment of National Ramsar/Wetland Committees, appear to be missing from the Strategies and Key Result Areas as adopted in Resolution X.1.

11.     Following comments received from several Contracting Parties concerning the utility of the COP10 NRF in reporting on issues concerning individual Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar sites), a new feature added to this draft COP11 Format is an optional Section 4 Annex which permits a Party to add additional information, if it wishes to, on indicator questions relevant to any of its Ramsar sites separately.

12.     Decision SC40-29 called for the COP11 NRF to be distributed to Parties one year prior to COP11, and for its completion and submission by Parties six months prior to the COP (thus allowing Parties six months for their compilation work). In the light of the experiences of the Parties in terms of timely submissions, as well as the time needed for handling, analysis and reporting by the Secretariat to COP10 of National Reports information, the Secretariat recommends that these timelines be adjusted so that the deadline for submission by Parties of completed COP11 National Reports is set at eight months prior to COP, and that the Format is issued to Parties nine months prior to that deadline. The precise dates would be set once the dates of COP11 are agreed, but would be approximately: issue by the Secretariat in January 2011 and deadline for submission by Parties in September 2011.

13.     The Standing Committee is invited to review and provide comments on this draft COP11 NRF and to instruct the Secretariat to finalise it for issuing in the three official Convention languages to all Contracting Parties.

Draft National Reports Form

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